How to Overcome Burnout in 4 Simple Ways

Strong feelings of physical/mental exhaustion, feeling less capable or frustrated about what you do, reduced performance and negativity. Everything rushes through your head without warning. You feel like giving up, and yet you have so many things resting upon your shoulders. You can't give up but can't keep holding on as well. Seem familiar to you? These are common symptoms of Burnout Syndrome. 

Burnout is common in contemporary society, where people are stuck doing the same thing every day with all of their efforts. Stress and burnout are closely related: dissatisfaction at work or high-stress jobs can increase risks for burnout. College students can experience burnout as well, especially in exam season when there's a significant amount of cramming going on. Here are a few tips to overcome burnout (personal experience included).

Photo by Serena Wong

1. Realize that you’re going through burnout

Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t realize that they’re going through burnout. Blaming yourself on your 'laziness' and forcing your way on will do nothing to improve the situation. This is a very easy way to fall into a vicious cycle, and can even lead to something worse and almost permanent, such as depression. Understanding your condition is the first step to overcome burnout and give your mental health better treatment. 

2. Get plenty of rest

Do something you like, eat something you like, do whatever makes you happier and gives you the willpower to overcome the burnout and get your life back on track. Eating dark chocolate can boost your mood and improve mental health. Keeping a study planner or scheduler helps you organize your day and makes better use of your time. Check a few things off every day and give yourself a break. (Warning: don't stress over the things that didn't get done. The point of keeping a scheduler is to effectively use time, not to stress yourself out.) 

3. Stir up your routine

Give your life small changes. Go for a morning jog, try to change into a healthier diet, give yourself small rewards every time you get something done. Burnout is usually associated with never-changing, tiring routines. Changes in daily life, however small they may be, can bring a big impact on burnout syndrome. 

Also, pulling all-nighters is not going to help: when you're going through burnout, being an early bird is much better than being a night owl. Getting to bed early gives your brain time to process information and leaves you with less time to ponder about your day: this can be dangerous during burnout, where people typically pertain to a negative mindset. 

4. Seek professional treatment

Burnout is never a thing that can be ignored or to be ashamed of. A lot of people don't realize that mental health is as important as physical health, and even say that mental health deterioration is nonsense, and it is ridiculous because everybody experiences the same thing. Self-care is important: if you can't seem to get better on your own, go to the doctor and explain your situation. Even though I am aware that mental health clinics have a negative image in some countries, psychiatry clinics can give so much help.